Background Information, Informed Consent, and Privacy Statement

Research Title: Review of Staff Development and Support Provision for Academic Research across UK Higher Education Institutions

Survey: Research Active Academic Staff

Research Investigator(s) and Context:
Co-Principal Investigators - Michael Rayner, Dean of Research, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI); Professor Susan Brooks, Professor of Cell Biology and Director of Research Development, Oxford Brookes University; and Alison Mitchell, Independent Researcher.

Information for Participants:
Thank you for agreeing to take part in this research study. The questionnaire should take approximately 25-30 minutes to complete and it covers a range of matters relating to your experience of, and views on, staff development and support provision for research active academic staff.

We have 4 x £50 Amazon vouchers available to individuals who complete the survey and who choose to provide their contact information. Winners will be selected via a prize draw following the survey closing date of Friday 29 November.
The intention of the study is:

1. To secure information on the experiences of research active academic staff in respect of the researcher development and training they have received during their careers;

2. To identify examples of good practice that can be shared and mainstreamed; and 

3. To identify whether there are important gaps in researcher development and training provisions at key stages of a research-active member’s career that should be filled.

The information gathered from the survey will be anonymised, analysed and used as follows:

1. To provide an evidence-based outline of the current position across UK Higher Education in respect of development and training opportunities available to research-active academic staff at key stages of their academic careers;

2. To provide examples of good practice that can be shared and mainstreamed, as far as practicable, across UK Higher Education; and

3. To provide a practical guide for use by institutions, schools/faculties, and departments, on what should constitute helpful researcher development and training provision for research-active academic staff, informed by the research data.

For this research to be successful, it is very important to gather responses from as many individuals as possible, covering the full range of research-active staff, from early career researchers through to the most senior members of the professoriate.

Please note: For the purposes of this survey, researcher development and training should be understood as covering all forms of formal and informal development and training activity, CPD, mentoring, on-the-job instruction, and advice, which have been available (or ideally should have been available) to help support the development of research active staff at all stages of their careers in respect of their research-related roles and career aspirations.

Our study seeks to understand the nature and extent of development and training support for research active staff across the Higher Education sector in the UK, and the engagement that research active staff have with it. This research aims to promote an effective and consistent suite of researcher development and training opportunities that are directly relevant to staff at their actual career stage.

This will make a contribution to achieving a good and healthy research environment, sustaining enthusiasm of research-active staff for long-term effective academic engagement with research, and a resultant extension of the reputation of UK Higher Education in an increasingly competitive world research environment.

It is anticipated that the research undertaken in this study will also be extended into an international comparative study in due course. In the light of this, permission is being sought to use the data provided by respondents in a number of contexts and publications, as outlined below.

Participant Information, Informed Consent, and Withdrawal of Consent

Please see the Participant Information Sheet for the study, which can be accessed by following this link.

It should be noted that if you proceed to complete the questionnaire this will be deemed to indicate your Informed Consent to take part in the study.  In doing so, it will be accepted that you have both understood and agree to the terms under which the research is being conducted, which include the use that will be made of the data collected.

All contributions will be treated confidentially and presented in anonymised form. As with all research in the UK, you have the right to withdraw at any time and without requiring to provide a reason. Your data will not then be used in the analysis or resultant publications from the research, which will (or may) be presented in a variety of written and oral forms (e.g. article, on-line, conference presentations, workshop, seminar).

However, if withdrawal of consent occurs after data have been finalised, published and/or presented, it will not be possible to disaggregate your data at that stage and remove it. All data will be stored and accessed in agreement with current provisions of UK legislation, notably in the context of GDPR regulations and requirements. 

Privacy Notice

Please see the Privacy Notice associated with this research activity, which can be accessed by following this link.
Thank you for your support and contribution to this research.

Michael Rayner, Dean of Research, UHI, University of the Highlands and Islands  
Susan Brooks, Professor of Cell Biology and Director of Researcher Development, Oxford Brookes University
Alison Mitchell, Independent Researcher

If you have any questions about this research you can contact me (Michael Rayner) at